Are you one of those people who has a Rubik’s Cube sitting on a shelf or in a drawer somewhere, and you’ve had it since the 80s but you’ve never solved it? Are you the type of person who uses more than one conjunction in the same sentence? Great! Then we have one thing in common! No, but seriously, folks.
So I wrote a sort of beginner’s guide to solving the Cube. And I call it the Low-Memory Method, because you only have to memorize 8 (eight) algorithms. There are probably several hundred algorithms one could possibly learn to solve the Cube, but my theory is that the fewer you need to actually solve it, the more people will get interested in picking up their old Cube and giving it a shot. And the trick is that if there’s an alg for rotating three pieces clockwise, then two things are true:
- There’s also an alg for rotating those pieces anti-clockwise, and
- You can perform the clockwise alg twice and it will achieve the same end result.
So with that in mind, I set out to write a method that uses some basic algorithms to get the thing solved with as little memorizational effort as possible. You like that word? It will take you a little longer to solve the Cube if you have to perform an algorithm twice rather than just using the correct one, but I reckon some people don’t care. If all you care about is being able to solve it at parties, or impress some friends at work, or whatever – then this is for you. I can help you solve your Cube easily and if you memorize the algorithms (all eight of them) then with practice, you can be solving it in less than two minutes pretty quickly.
This makes the assumption that you don’t necessarily need to memorize the first five algorithms I list on the instructional. I actually ask participants to try to avoid memorizing them, in fact, but rather to watch what is happening and actually gain a better understanding of the Cube physics. Once you are able to see it that way, you can solve the first layer intuitively. And with that in place, you only need to memorize the eight algorithms. I think that’s pretty fantastic.
I’ve been solving the Rubik’s Cube for a long time now. And my best time is right around 75 seconds. That’s hella impressive to someone who can’t solve one. But it’s really very slow to a speed cuber. I’ve always said I have no interest in being a speed solver, yet I sit around on a lazy Sunday and screw up all my Cubes and solve them all while timing myself. So obviously I’m working on my speed. But I’ve reached a peak. Since I twist layers using my wrist instead of flicking them with my fingertips like the pros, there’s a physical muscular-skeletal limitation to my speed. Well, I’ve finally decided to take the next step.
Not finger-flicking. I think maybe I’ll work on that later. But just a different method of solving. I’m ready to learn the new algorithms I never learned. I’m ready to solve the first two layers (F2L) at once, shaving up to a minute off my solve time in the long run. So I’m leaving my old method to you, friends. It has served me well over the years. I hope you enjoy it.
Try it out! Then shoot me an email and let me know how you did. Does it interest you now that you’re able to solve it? Is it something you think you might pick up? I’m interested to hear if my simple method helped anyone else turn a frustrating puzzle into a fun hobby. Click here to solve your Rubik’s Cube!